Building a better neck jig

Discussion in 'The DIY Tool Shed' started by highwaycat, May 27, 2020.

  1. highwaycat

    highwaycat Tele-Meister

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    I built this based off the highline guitars YouTube video.
    The 2x4 was splitting way too much and the threaded inserts were soft and junk, I’m looking to build another one.

    I want to use either a 80/20 aluminum t slot and look for attachments or a 2x4 or even a 4x4 that is planed and jointed.

    I showed a machinist I use to work with but he said he’d charge too much and I’d be better off buying a premade neck jig. So I talked him into helping me drill the holes when I got the parts.

    Anyone go the 80/20 route? What attachments did you get?

    I’m mainly aiming towards having a workstation that makes it easier to work at different heights, waist and elbow and eventually adapts to different guitar bodies. I like how the neck is supported well. Plus rocking a neatly built neck jig will look good when I have bands check out my tools. I haven’t tried the string tension methods yet.
     

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  2. eallen

    eallen Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Not sure what you are trying to accomplish. Perhaps a link to the jig you are basing it off of?

    In all the guitars I have built and setup, I have never used a jig, I assume for fret leveling?

    Eric
     
  3. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Afflicted

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    I can see where you're going with this :).

    I don't know that the design is exclusive to Highline, there are lot's of versions of this type of radius jig. All of them have one thing in common, and that's having the fret board swing on an arc that matches the desired fret board radius.

    Grizzly Machinery sells a commercial version that operates on the same concept except the fret board is suspended from above instead of below.

    The main requirement for a fret board radius jig, or for that matter any jig, is repeatable and predictable accuracy.

    Eliminating as much slop in the moving parts as possible is the key. The fewer the moving parts and the lesser the range of motion will definitely work in your favor.

    There are different ways to skin the fret board radiusing cat; different ways to achieve a precisely machined fret board.




    This is my design. It is totally different than the Highline type, but delivers the goods - a precisely machined fret board in your choice of radius including compound radii.

    It works the opposite of the Highline or Grizzly type, the fret board remains stationary while the router bit travels on the prescribed radius along the length and width of the fret board.


    IMG_0865.JPG





    I like your idea of using rigid aluminum extrusions for the posts. I would look at developing a very solid pivot arrangement that could be adjusted and locked down on the extrusion at your desired radius point. By using an adjustable pivot arrangement, you'd only need to fabricate two of them. I'd use quality bearings or bushings to cut down on slop ;).

    This outfit has a pretty good selection of extrusions and accessories, and their prices are pretty reasonable -

    https://www.tnutz.com/

    The advantage with the pre-fab parts like extrusions is that it eliminates most of the machining work :).





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    Mr. Neutron and highwaycat like this.
  4. highwaycat

    highwaycat Tele-Meister

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    Thanks it’s just for working on used guitars not for building.
    So far the wooden one will replace my old methods of supporting the neck for fret levels because it supports the neck so well.
    It raises the guitar higher so it’s great for recrowning frets, which hurts my back now these days.
    Then the waist height is good for soldering.
    If I implement some sort of adjustable risers for the body it’ll make working on acoustic guitars way easier.
     
  5. hahns

    hahns TDPRI Member

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    I think the OP was talking about an Erlewine neck jig to simulate string tension, no?
     
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